Design Talent at Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell is one of London’s premier design districts, their annual festival brings together innovative designers from all around the world with inspiring one-off installations, exhibitions and events.

One particular space that we are always interested in visiting is called Platform, it showcases a variety of future design stars about to break into the industry. Located in the subterranean House of Detention, this small, intriguing space plays host to some of the freshest design talent around. Small businesses, graduates, and local crafters exhibit a fabulous mix of textiles, furniture, lighting and ceramics set in a fascinatingly eerie, atmospheric venue steeped in history. Here are some of our favourite finds…

Uncommon Projects

This brand creates bespoke plywood furniture and kitchen design, they are not however a traditional joinery company; with a playful approach to color and material combinations; they form a unique and distinct identity. Materials such as Birch Plywood and cork offer an honest approach to material use that is functional and provides a visual balance.

I was particularly attracted to the contemporary use of color, with the organic and naturalness of the deep forest green combined with a softer more delicate pink to create a warm, stylish yet sustainable kitchen.

We have seen a rise in chipboard furniture and plank-inspired design within interiors (this can be traced back to our Analogue Workshop Trend). A very versatile material for easy construction, it has both environmental and aesthetic benefits, with a contemporary and industrial feel; a great experimental material for interiors.

Key Trend 2019Expect to see warmer wood tones for a natural cosiness, with more refined sustainable materials and a move towards a transitional living space that is functional and minimal yet warm and inviting.

Ceramics Mix by Eliza Jaszczuk 

These beautiful pieces are delicately detailed and organically unique. Eliza makes her ceramics pieces in her London studio, each piece is made by hand using stoneware clay both hand built and wheel thrown which is then decorated with pieces of clay. This process is inspired by the colors, shapes, rhythm and dynamics of the sea with its crushing waves.

Key Trend 2019 – Nature continues to be a key driver in pattern, shape, material and texture trends. Products with a handmade, crafted aesthetic with clear indications of the artisan’s hand remains a relevant influence in tabletop design.


I was fascinated to learn the story behind this very raw, organic looking vegetable lamp. The Flaskee infact is an organic cell, a fruit most commonly found in hot, tropical countries. Botanists call it calabash and it comes in a variety of different shapes.

It has been known to inspire many artisans and crafters, who use it to make musical instruments, food containers and other utensils but in this case it has been hand crafted into lighting pieces.These naturally sculptured lights are organic, unrefined and lightweight (check out their website for a step by step guide on the process). They certainly have a unique appeal in a direct response to sustainability and using raw materials to influence design.

Key Trend 2019  – Of course Sustainability is high on everybody’s radar as we continue to search for eco-conscious approaches to design and manufacture.

Expect to see more material developments made from fruit and vegetables such as mushroom or pineapple leathers and apple or leek papers. You should also expect more products to be made from waste materials encouraging us to live an honest, authentic and super-sustainable lifestyle.

Takumi Woodwork

This brand was established in 2016 by lifelong friends Louis & Ed. Their exceptionally beautiful furniture is hand crafted to perfection with an obvious Japanese influence, in-fact the word “Takumi” translates as craftsman, artisan or handmade in Japanese.

Much of Japanese design is steeped in tradition fusing local materials with ancient craftsmanship and this is exactly what Takumi incorporate into their work, these skills are a result of spending time working in Japan. One particularly interesting technique is called Shou Sugi-ban (the process of burning the surface of Cedar boards to preserve the timber) which is a style aesthetic; from a trend perspective, that we have been talking about for a long time.

Most of their work is constructed using traditional Japanese hand tools in order to produce a finer, meticulous quality that is sure to stand the test of time.

Key Trend 2019We have recently shared examples with you of how a particular a Japanese aesthetic has been interpreted within interior design in the form of Wabi- Sabi; the perfectly imperfect style. As we look further ahead, with the 2020 Olympics being held in Tokyo, we expect to see a rise in Japanese cultural influences throughout many areas such as food trends and interior styling as well as attitudes, ideologies and ways of living.

Lights by Clar

I was particularly attracted to the delicate simplicity of these lights, they are made from Italian Pergamenata that has a cloudy texture like the ancient natural parchments. When the light is turned on, the white material glows with a warm ivory tone. The designer describes a love for “a quiet, minimalistic aesthetic” and strives to create objets that comfort us with their calm, fragile elegance.

Key Trend 2019These lights relate to our 2019 trend Clarity which embodies and encourages contemplation, quiet reflection and slowing down in order to have some respite from the fast pace of modern life. We want our interior products to have a deeper meaning; supporting us to own less and consider personal meditation, wellbeing and balancing out our digitally dominated lives (see the Mindful Powers of Hiking for ways to de-stress, relax and focus).

Our next Trend Seminar highlighting consumer & design trends for 2019 and beyond will be in Melbourne; Australia at Decor & Design Show

Book your place now.

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